Thinking about adding live chat to your site? A live chat widget can help boost your leads pipeline. Adding web chat enables you to capture essential visitor details, such as name and phone number. You can also use it to book appointments and more.  ?

Live chat can be added to your website with minimal effort and cost. Or, if you do a lot of business via your company’s Facebook page, you can also integrate live chat with Facebook Messenger. It’s really not that difficult, and once it’s running, your customers will thank you! Customers appreciate the ability to reach your business 24/7.

Let’s talk about things we can all get behind:

  • Faster response times
  • Responsive customer service
  • The opportunity to brag on great experiences

These are all part of an incredible experience on your website or Facebook page, worthy of telling our friends.

Do you relate? Chances are, your customers do. They want you to be the one who saves them time, who makes life better.

You are that person! You’re the hero! And, like heroes, it pays to be in multiple places at once. A dedicated live chat service can help you take care of customers, while freeing you to run your business.

If you’re wondering how to implement live chat, or if you have any questions about how web chat can benefit a small business, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s get started!


Growing your business with live chat 

How can live chat benefit my small business?

Lead capture represents a huge opportunity. When a visitor starts a chat, you can ask them for their contact details. This helps you follow up after the chat. You can also invite the visitor to book an appointment or a site visit, for example.

Tell me more about using live chat to schedule appointments. 

This is one of the biggest advantages of adding web chat to your site! By offering appointment booking on your website, this grows your leads pipeline, 24/7. Here’s the good stuff: when a customer knows they’ve got an appointment lined up, they’re far less likely to continue searching the market, or moving on to the next provider on their list.

We all love visitors… it’s even better when they become customers, wouldn’t you agree?

Can you show me some examples of other websites using live chat?

Of course! From patio companies to HVAC businesses, here are some great examples of live chat in action. One of our customers below does a great job of explaining the value of adding live chat to a home services website. We absolutely ? these words. ↓

Credit: Tom Schulz, third-generation HVAC specialist and owner of Your Heat and Air Guy

What are the benefits of using a real person or team on live chat?

If you want your customers to get the best possible experience when they visit your site, a real person should be available to help answer any questions. Visitors are more likely to volunteer information, if they know they’re talking to a helpful person. This helps spark more confidence that their question will get answered or quickly, or that their request will be followed up on professionally.

Offering live support on web chat doesn’t need to include a huge cost, however. You can work with a scalable service, such as AnswerForce, to ensure chats get answered whenever they come in, without hiring someone in-house.


Live chat plans and prices

How much does live chat cost?

At AnswerForce, live chat support is available to every customer on the Best Value plan. You can register here to access the plan. Usage is charged from your plan minutes on a per-minute basis. There’s no charge for the first 30 chats or calls under 30 seconds, per billing cycle. As an added benefit, chat costs are capped at 10 minutes per chat.

You can also install the widget on your website and use the widget alone, taking your own chats, at no additional cost.

Can my staff or I answer our own chats?

Yes, you can. If no one from your team is available, you can also rely on AnswerForce receptionists to provide backup support.

Tell me more about using the live chat widget.

We highly recommend you ensure a live person can help answer your visitor’s questions. If for any reason you don’t want to use the support of live receptionists, you can still activate the live chat widget on your website.

In that scenario, you or a team member could staff the widget. You can also make the widget available without a real person available to help, and leave an away message. This option allows visitors to voluntarily leave contact details for you to follow up on. Ultimately, it’s best if you can dedicate a person or team to staffing your live chat service

I’m not on the Best Value plan. Can I still try live chat?

Yes! Simply log into your AnswerForce dashboard and upgrade to Best Value today!


Live chat installation and troubleshooting

I’d like to learn more about live chat. Can you show me how it works?

Absolutely! Please schedule a live chat demo. Our live chat demos generally take 25 minutes.

I’m ready to install live chat but need some help. 

We’re happy to help! Please schedule a live chat installation session. Installing live chat typically takes about 15 minutes. One of our live chat specialists will be on hand to guide you through the process.

I’ve got additional questions about live chat. Who can help?

We can, of course! Please schedule a troubleshooting session. We recommend 15 minutes.

Once I’ve installed live chat, what will I see in the dashboard?

Here’s an example of a web chat dashboard. You can see who’s on your site at any time, and their general location, like this:

chat widget dashboard interface


Getting maximum value from live chat

The details you see above — name, city, device and time of visit — appear in the dashboard after those visitors have had a chat on your site. These are examples of visitors who left their name as part of their contact information.

But, even if they had not provided their name, and even if they had not proactively initiated a chat, you would still be able to see who is visiting, their general location, and the device type (Android vs iPhone, for example).

By being able to see basic details of who’s visiting your site, you can make the most of every visitor and opportunity. You can keep your outreach simple, or you can use the data to support your wider marketing efforts.

In both cases, having live chat on your site makes you more contactable, at hours that suit your visitors. Congratulations on caring for your customers, and congratulations on laying the groundwork for a bigger leads pipeline. ?